Indian Advertisements have a larger and more diverse audience than any other country. Having to reach out to people of various ethics, languages, religion and cultures and of course, promote the campaign/product/service. Keeping up with the humor and cultural sentiments, Indian commercials give great insight to an average Indian’s life.
Not just commercials, any form of Indian media is challenging. Quoting an Oman-based Indian journalist, AM, from one of his articles, “journalism experience in India is far more creative and adds more weight to a media person’s resume than from most other south Asian countries”. For example, The Hindu newspaper is so addictive and such a cult-following that some non-resident Indians don’t mind subscribing to it wherever they are, and getting it a day later. Such is Indian media- powerful, influential, creative, touches and forever stays in our hearts.
The following are my list of Top Indian advertisements of recent times-
1)Amul Topicals – Though the focus is mainly on television commercials, the Amul hits featuring the Utterly Butterly girl, is clearly the longest running, most impressive and most successful Indian promotional campaign. Catch the full Amul Topicals Story here. Almost 43 odd years over, Amul’s chubby moppet in her classic polka dotted dress and a red and white bow still makes heads turn.
With a new hit (usually featuring the cute moppet in a spoof of current affairs with Amul Butter in her hand) every Friday in large hoardings at prominent parts of the Indian cities since 1967, the utterly butterly girl made it to the Guiness Book of World Records (about a decade ago) for being the longest running campaign ever. The Amul website claims that the ultimate compliment to the Amul butter came when a British company launched their butter calling it Utterly Butterly.
For those who have little opportunity to see these large billboards in prominent parts of metropolitan cities of India, view the entire archive of Amul hits for their butter (check it out every Friday) here and the most memorable campaigns of Amul’s other products – here.
2) Vodafone –Zoozoo-
Though these scrawny bigheaded creatures appear animated, Zoozoos are actually ballet dancers dressed in white outfits while their facial expressions are black stickers (or so I believe). Vodafone Zoozoo’s were launched during the IPL season by Oglivy & Mather, India which had also created the famous Vodafone (formerly Hutch pug). 25 zoozoo commercials released each day till the end of IPL season 2.
The making of Zoozoo Ads were popular email forwards at that time. None of the actors could see as they were covered head to toe. The shadows were created by spray painting. Though they appear like tiny creatures an average human’s head would reach only upto the mouth of a Zoozoo. The thin limbs were contrasted with big bellies and huge egg heads to create the “small creatures” illusion.
3) Happy Dent White –
A simple chewing gum would normally feature the “refreshing breath” or “white teeth” and portray two people attracted to each other for the same. Sighs. How boring and repetitive! Happy Dent came out with it’s out-of-the-box Kingdom of Lights campaign featuring Happy Dent White’s smile powers Indian city lights!
4)Miranda Bride- Most of the ads featuring Asin as a bride are hilarious. Be it the Fairever campaign on “If girls become so beautiful, guys have to do all this to impress” featuring a prospective groom singing and dancing to impress the girl and her family.
Miranda’s Indian bride ad is classic comedy and one of my favorites.
5) Airtel – Airtel’s campaign on “Barriers break when people talk” is beautifully portrayed featuring two children from different countries crossing the barbed boundary lines to play together.
6)Camlin –Though not very popular, Camlin’s permanent marker ad and “change” white board ad are very thoughtful and hilarious. The permanent marker was simply out-of-the-box for a simple marker.
7) Indian Cancer Association- ICA’s campaign against smoking is a must-watch. Their simple tagline was “Women feel safer with men who smoke,…” and watch the ad for the rest of it.
8 ) Naukri.com’s “S for Shameless” is amazing- How many of you wished you could have done that?
9) DLF IPL- Most of the IPL ads are brilliant. I have to get a bit unfair by giving credit to ads by category than individual ads themselves. Best of them being- The Manoranjan ka Baap ad in 2008, the one with Andrew Symonds, etc. The recent DLF IPL 2010 – Saare Jahan Se Accha campaign created by JWT welcomes the series back home with a “we missed you too” note.
10)Silk Saree Advertisements- Here again, I am being unfair by giving credit to different advertisements on the same platform at no.10 .
Indian silk sarees are big business. RmKV, one of the leading manufacturers of silk sarees known for its many Guiness Record victories certainly deserves credit not just for their amazing products, but also their beautiful campaigns( By Mudra). Be it the world’s longest saree or the grand reversible or the saree with maximum number of colors (again a Guinness attempt using 50,000 colors in a saree) , RmKV has become synonymous with innovation. Mudra’s won gold in the retail category for their RmKV 50,000 color saree campaign for which popular Actress Jyothika had been roped in and asked “which color saree to wear for my wedding?”. Jyo-Surya’s wedding was around the corner at that time, and the celebrity couple’s marriage was the talk of the town. The actress claimed she had 50,000 suggestions and was confused which color to wear. Subsequently the full ad, released with Jyo claiming that RmKV designed a saree with 50,000 colors for her. A successful capitalization of reality of their famous brand ambassador I should say.
Another memorable advertisement is the one featuring a shy Deepika Padukone clad in RmKV’s saree with Ravi Varma’s painting weaved on it’s pallu, at a time, when she was not yet a Bollywood figure and a household name.
Breaking the Guinness record for the longest Saree is an ongoing competition between silk saree manufacturers- Kumaran Silks manufactured 2, 007ft saree in just 18 days in 2007. Seematti came out with 1585ft saree breaking Pothy’s 2005 record for it’s 1,276 ft saree.
Back to the topic, another creative campaign last “Aadi” season was – the Pothy’s ad featuring Poonam Kaur, Sathya Raj and Seetha in a Madurai royalty set up. Not among the best, but quite entertaining-
Of course, there are too many other commercials that are probably better than the ones I mentioned and haven’t struck me at the moment. I thought of mentioning the Hoodibaba campaign for Bajaj Caliber but there are many other campaigns in the category of products that I decided to save it for later. Virgin Mobile “Think differently” ads are also my favorite which I thought of at No. 8 but let DLF ILP take the slot instead. So, pardon my indecisive Gemini bird-brain, the list is always subject to revision and change.